Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Morris Warns GOP On Failure To Support Immigration Bill

Political pundit Dick Morris has this dire warning for the Republican Party if it fails to embrace the bipartisan immigration reform bill brokered by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA): You will self-destruct. Morris writes:

The hopes of the entire Latino community are pinned to immigration reform and, if the GOP is seen as blocking it, the consequences for the indefinite future will be horrific. The Republican Party will lose Hispanics as surely as they lost blacks when Barry Goldwater ran in 1964 against the civil rights bill (even though a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats backed the bill in each house).

If the Hispanics are not massively turned off by a Republican rejection of immigration reform, they will drift into an increasingly pro-Republican orientation just as Irish and Italian Catholics did before them. Already Protestant evangelicalism has converted a third of the American Latino population, a clear precursor of GOP political support.

Hispanics now account for 13 percent of the U.S. population (blacks are 12 percent) and will constitute 20 percent of our population by 2020 regardless of whether immigration reform passes or not. Key red states like Texas and Florida hang in the balance, depending on the voting intention of their burgeoning Latino populations.

The reform compromise proposed in the Senate postpones, in my opinion wrongly, granting citizenship and voting rights to immigrants now in the U.S. for at least a decade. While they get legal status immediately on payment of a $5,000 fine, they must return to their country of origin and wait their turn in line for a valid green card to return legally. Only then can they become citizens. Given the seven- to eight-year wait for green cards, they would not be a potent political force until well into the next decade.

In the meantime, the GOP base should note that the bill commits the Democrats to the border fence and a major increase in border guards. It also will require tamper-proof identification cards, a key element in blocking further illegal immigration.

But the political stakes are largely in the symbolism of the bill. Whichever party is seen as supporting reform will gain a huge vote share among Hispanics, and the opponents will lose accordingly.

Had the Republicans gotten it together to pass such a bill while they ran Congress, they would have gotten unambiguous credit for the achievement. This history would have made it possible to switch Latinos into Republican voters. Surely, two-thirds of Latinos would not have voted Democrat as they did, in their disappointment with the lack of a bill, in 2006.

In fact, the Republican Party could well have held onto the Senate with a few Latino switches in key states like Georgia and Missouri.

Now the GOP will have to share credit with the Democrats, but the signature on the bill will still read “George W. Bush,” a fact that Latinos are not going to forget.

But if the Republicans kill the bill, driven by their own irreconcilable base, they will leave it to the next president — very probably a Democrat — and two Democratic houses of Congress to pass the liberating legislation. The GOP will have delivered the largest minority group in America right into the hands of its adversaries.

The compromise requires English skills, payment of a fine, and a good work history for an illegal immigrant to get citizenship. It also requires that he “touch back” in Mexico and wait his turn. The bill also puts border enforcement before the granting of rights.

Democrats want Hispanics to vote but don’t want them to work and compete with their labor union allies for jobs.

Republicans want them to work (since the employers are mostly Republican) but don’t want them to vote.

This bill, unfortunately, allows current illegal immigrants to work immediately but defers giving them the franchise for almost a decade. It’s a bill a Republican should love.

Morris makes a lot of sense. Listen up, GOP lawmakers.


Anonymous said...

I tend to think this compromise is smart, too Gary. In several border states, like Fla. Texas, Ariz., and Cali, this is a crisis issue. We're really isolated from the larger effects here in Ind.

But I made a huge mistake about five months ago. I signed up for Morris's newsletter.

It's a one-trick wonder: Hillary sux, Hillary sux...he's incredibly shallow and never misses a chance to pat himself on the back.

He is, at best, a turncoat political adviser. At worst, a political whore. Not much credibility.

If he's right about this, which I suspect, well...even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while.

Anonymous said...

We are? Anyone see the near west and east sides lately?

Anonymous said...

"He is, at best, a turncoat political adviser. At worst, a political whore. Not much credibility."

He's a toe sucker. Deep down inside he's a Clintonista. He just won't admit it because he needed a job while the Clintons were out of orofice.

Wilson46201 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

7:09, compared to San Diego, Phoenix, LA, El Paso, San Antonio, Miami, etc., the east and west sides are Carmel. Seriously. You need to get out more.

And anyone who thinks Dick Morris is still remotely in favor with the Clintons hasn't been paying attention. He whored his book out there immediately after they left office. Bill hates him, and Hillary, well, HC can whiz standing up, and rumor has it she's pledged to scratch his eyes out.

A very, very scary mental image.

Jeff Cox said...

According to Rasmussen as posted at NRO's the Corner:

Just 26% Favor Senate Immigration Plan

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Initial public reaction to the immigration proposal being debated in the Senate is decidedly negative.

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey conducted Monday and Tuesday night shows that just 26% of American voters favor passage of the legislation. Forty-eight percent (48%) are opposed while 26% are not sure. The bi-partisan agreement among influential Senators and the White House has been met with bi-partisan opposition among the public. The measure is opposed by 47% of Republicans, 51% of Democrats, and 46% of those not affiliated with either major party.

The enforcement side of the debate is clearly where the public passion lies on the issue. Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters say it is Very Important for “the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration.” That view is held by 89% of Republicans, 65% of Democrats, and 63% of unaffiliated voters.

Advocates of “comprehensive” reform have taken to arguing that those who want an enforcement-only policy must explain how they would deal with the 12 million illegal aliens already living in the country. The public reaction to that question appears to be “Why?” Only 29% of voters say it is Very Important for “the government to legalize the status of illegal aliens already in the United States.”

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Democrats believe that legalization is Very Important. Just 22% of Republicans and 27% of unaffiliated voters share that view.

Still, 65% of voters would be willing to support a compromise including a “very long path to citizenship” provided that “the proposal required the aliens to pay fines and learn English” and that the compromise “would truly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the country.” The proposal, specifically described as a compromise, was said to include “strict employer penalties for hiring illegal aliens, building a barrier along the Mexican border and other steps to significantly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the United States.”


My comment? The Republicans are more likely to self-destruct if they do not oppose this plan. "Comprehensive reform" without securing the border is simply not acceptable to the American people. And I have to repeat Andy McCarthy's question:

I hear over and over again that it is important to do something about the status of the 12 - 20+ million illegals who are already in the country. Again I ask: Why? Why is their status — a status they chose with no encouragement from me — my problem?

Gary R. Welsh said...

The problem with polls like that, Procynic, is that they don't measure the intensity of the issue with certain voters, namely Hispanic voters. Hispanic voters have demonstrated a lot of independence with their allegiance shifting dramatically between Republicans and Democrats depending on their perception of the current climate. If the GOP solidifies itself as the anti-immigrant party, you can rest assured this bloc of voters will drift overwhelmingly to the Democratic Party. If that happens, it will become nearly impossible for the GOP to win elections in many key states.

Wilson46201 said...

The Republicans have more than just a "Hispanic voter" problem. Gays and Jews both perceive the GOP as antithetical to their interests and vote 3-to-1 Democratic. Blacks despise the GOP and vote about 10-to-1 Democratic. For a while the GOP had garnered the Muslim vote but Bush blew that away absolutely. Jim Sensenbrenner and Tom Tancredo and their ilk are quickly driving out the Latino voter.

At this rate, Republicans are becoming the party of nativists and xenophobes. Pity!

Anonymous said...

"At this rate, Republicans are becoming the party of nativists and xenophobes. Pity! "

The same way the Democratic party is becoming the party of defeatists and welfare recipients. Glass houses, and all.

Th GOP needs to do a better job of making themselves look like the anti-ILLEGAL immegration party. Being agaisnt freeloaders isn't the same things as being against immegration. We accept more legal Latin immegrants into America in a year than the rest of the world combined. I think thatis important for.

Anonymous said...

The key to all of this are Texas and Florida. The Republicans hold on to the Presidency by controlling the whole South (for now) and enough Western/ Midwestern states to get the electoral votes.

The Dems must take the Northeast (no-brainer), Pacific Coast, most of the Midwest and now a couple of Western states seem in play as well.

Jeff Cox said...


The GOP is only an anti-ILLEGAL immigration party. The Dems and their media allies intentionally fudge or ignore the distinction between legal and illegal immigration to the GOP's detriment.


You're right. The poll does not measure the intensity of the feeling. That works both ways. You may be underestimating the intensity of the opposition to this bill, particuarly among people who normally call themselves Republicans, or used to call themselves Republican before "comprehensive immigration reform" became an issue. When members of the GOP are talking about impeachment of Bush as a result of this bill -- and they are -- the Anger Measurement Scale probably tops anything La Raza can put together.

Passage of this measure sens the GOP the way of the Whigs. This bill is politically stupid and morally wrong.